One Man Walking

2008-06-14 Shaky ground

June 14th, 2008 · 3 Comments

You may have heard about an earthquake in Japan today. It wasn’t far away and may have been around 4.0 where I was. At about 8:45 I was recording a bit on my camera saying “nothing else around here is swaying so I guess it’s just a dizzy spell”. It probably was, but I’d be interested to know the time of the quake.

The newspaper arrived today with the article in. I think it missed some interesting points out, but being in a Japanese paper is pretty cool no matter what. I’m carrying a copy and several more will get sent home soon.

That Masami Goto is hosting a nice young man who gets given onigiri and beer from kind Japanese people as he walks through beautiful Japanese countryside 

Masami’s wife Kichi prepared another big breakfast, I should have weighed myself before and after this home-stay, and her sister arrived with her husband and mother to wave me off. Hideya (the husband, hope I spelled that right), is president of the food company they all work for and I left with packets of miso and consomme soup, plus generous settai that’ll see Tania and I in a hotel after I finish rather than a youth hostel. There was a bit of confusion as I reached the end of the road and headed south. Masami came running to point me north until I explained I needed to make my path connected by returning to the point he picked me up from, just 100m south from there. With that cleared I got going but something was wrong.
leaving the Goto house 
I don’t know what started it but somehow I got in a bad mood. I started running through events where I think I had been wronged in someway and devising arguments or comebacks that would prove my point. I even got annoyed at the weather for being so overcast and realised just how stupid I was being when I felt the anger pointing at anyone I saw. It wasn’t their fault it might rain soon. I tried playing my iPod to distract me but it continued until I heard Robbie Williams’ “Better man”. I know the words by heart but that song always brings on some pretty depressing self-reflection and I find it hard to get them out without my voice cracking up (@Peter A: I can actually do this one pretty well when it’s heart-felt). There were many reasons behind this trip, though the Japanese only get to hear of the ones relating to Japan itself. Among them is the continuation of last year’s time out and putting to rest the things that trouble me. Listening to your sub-concious is all well and good. Unless you don’t like what you hear.

Enough with the melodramatics. A farmer stopped and gave me chocolate, a shopper sat beside me and asked about me. They may have seen the paper or they may just like talking to odd looking fellas, either way they cheered me up. Just before my lunch time goal, Masami found me and wished me well again. That’s when I heard of the quake that at last count had killed 10 and injured 167. A few bridges are down, I think my route is safe though.

My target was Jurokurakan “16 rocks”. Which are figured carved into the rocks on the shore line. Sort of like Mount Rushmore, but on a smaller scale and done by monks.


More walking, a little rain and I arrived at Kisakita, a park where I spent a while stomping around between the natural islands of rocks and trees dotted amongst the rice fields. I could be in the road station but I have been looking forward to sleeping here all day. A little solitude and complete darkness will do me good.

Word of the day: shinbun = newspaper

p.s. One of the guys who came to the bar two nights ago passed me on the road today. Stopped to say hi and check how I was.

Distance today: 47 km

hiking  ·  photo

3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Peter // Jun 15, 2008 at 8:32 pm

    I put the song on to hear what you might have heard and the lyric ‘conscious’ came at the same time as reading your word ‘conscious’, so maybe you can sing that one alright.
    Have fun introspecting, I’d be doing the same if I didn’t have projects due.

  • 2 Denis // Jun 17, 2008 at 3:17 pm

    The BBC puts the time of the quake at 8:45 .
    “Seismologists had issued advance warning of the earthquake – which was followed by more than 150 aftershocks – moments before it struck around 0845 (2343 GMT on Friday).”

  • 3 Mountaingoat // Jun 19, 2008 at 9:26 pm

    Craig, you are describing the exact feelings I experienced for several days before I quit. I’d had a few years in the country before that, and I think a lot of built-up resentment came back. You have nobody to talk to or distract you. You can’t express yourself properly to the people you do meet. As someone who has done long walks in the US, I think that, like me, you miss the companionship and the western openness you found there. I don’t know what advice to give except — I don’t know. Hang in there…

Leave a Comment

and don't forget the anti-spam form at the very bottom